Marais des Cygnes Valley 2024 graduates: ‘Officially’ headed toward new chapters in life – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Marais des Cygnes Valley 2024 graduates: ‘Officially’ headed toward new chapters in life

MdCVHS 2024 graduates, front from left, Aydin Deeter, Brooke Spillman, Olivia Lacey, Kelsey Rice, and Haylea Bethell, back, Jaxson Dorr, Hunter Trienen, Deken Coyler, DJ Johnson, Mason Rose, Kristopher Ruth, Gunnar Pendroy, and Corey Criss. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Members of the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School class of 2024 officially declared the end of their public school days and the beginning of new chapters in their lives during commencement exercises held Saturday, May 11, 2024, in the school’s gymnasium at Melvern, Kan.

With Pomp and Circumstance, MdCVHS Principal Darrin Ashmore introduced MdCV’s 2024 co-valedictorians Olivia Lacey and Kelsey Rice, who thanked all of those who helped them get to this point in their lives. They congratulated their classmates and advised them not to forget their school years at Marais des Cygnes Valley as they continued their lives.

“We are officially done with high school! Guys we did it!” Lacey said. “Whether you are heading to college this fall, going to the workforce, or taking some time for yourself, we must always remember where we came from and the incredible potential each of us holds.”

She said the students “learned so much about ourselves” and that would help them in the future.

“As we have seen in the past four years, a lot can change,” Lacey said. “We’ve faced challenges that seemed insurmountable, like learning through a pandemic over Zoom classes. But we didn’t just survive; we thrived. We adapted, we supported each other, and we made it through. This resilience is what sets us apart.”

“I do know that endings are inevitable, and with this one, one door is closing while another is opening. High school wasn’t meant to last forever, and it’s time to say goodbye,” Lacey said. “As we go onto the next chapter in life, may we always remember what shaped us into the young and bright individuals we have become.”

Rice spoke about the student’s eagerness to get to this point in their lives.

“We were all saying, ‘I can’t wait to graduate,’” Rice said. “But why are we so eager to move on? Is it because we’re ready for new challenges, eager to make our own decisions, or simply excited to leave high school behind? Maybe it’s a mix of all these reasons. As we look forward to the future, let’s not forget what we might leave behind.”

She told of a lesson she learned “that I wish I had realized sooner – not everything is as serious as it seems. We often stress over small things that in the grand scheme of life, won’t matter that much.”

Her simple advice for the future: “Be yourself. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are. Do what makes you happy.”

“As we move forward into this next chapter of our life,” Rice said, “let’s carry with us the memories we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learned, and the friendships we’ve built. Let’s step into the future with confidence, knowing that we’ve got the support of our loved ones, close friends, and most importantly the strength and resilience we have within ourselves.”

After Ashmore introduced the MdCV High School class of 2024 for graduation, USD 456 Board of Education members presented diplomas to the following graduates: Haylea Nicole Bethell, Corey Dean Criss, Jaxson Leevi Dorr, Dalton Jame Steven Johnson, Gunnar Eli Pendroy, Mason Lee Rose, Brooke Mae Spillman, Deken Ray Colyer, Aydin Mary Ella Deeter, Tristan Gregory Garber, Olivia Christine Lacey, Kelsey Lee Rice, Kristopher Thomas Lee Ruth, and Hunter Lee Treinen.

Attendants for the ceremony were Sam Goddard and Izzy Steggs; processional leaders were Montana McCurdy and Evie Stephens.

MdCV High School administration includes USD 456 Superintendent Joe Sample, Principal Darrin Ashmore, counselor Lisa Reeser, administrative assistant John Bass, administrative assistant Savannah Bean, and school resource officer Cpl. Jackie Beatty.

MdCV High School faculty for the 2023-24 school year included Kris Collins, Gerardo Felipe, John Giffin, Pam Martell, Thomas Roach, Jeff Davenport , Joy Dyke, Lora Finley , Amanda Ford, Amy Lacey , Jeremy Lingenfelter, Mike McDougald , Matt Railsback, Steve Taylor, Thad Thurston

USD 456 Board of Education includes Greg McCurdy, president, Chelsey Masenthin, vice president, Mark Lacey, Mike Ragan, Eric Struttman, and Debbie Woodson.

The graduates announced their future plans as follows:

  • Haylea Bethell will attend Emporia State University with her major as yet undecided.
  • Deken Colyer will be employed as an electrician at CDL Electric, Pittsburg, Kan.
  • Corey Criss graduated from Washburn Technical Institute as an auto service technician, and plans to work for Clarkson Construction as an equipment operator.
  • Aydin Deeter has entered the workforce as a receptionist at Stormont Vail.
  • Jaxson Dorr is attending Flint Hills Technical College, studying computer program design.
  • DJ Johnson graduated from Washburn Technical Institute in diesel technology, and plans to work on transmissions and components for Foley Equipment.
  • Olivia Lacey will attend College of the Ozarks, majoring in nursing.
  • Gunnar Pendroy plans to enter the work force.
  • Kelsey Rice is attending Emporia State University, majoring in nursing.
  • Mason Rose is working in highway construction for the Coffey County Highway Department.
  • Kristopher Ruth is entering the work force.
  • Brooke Spillman will attend Fort Scott Community College, majoring in cosmetology.
  • Hunter Treinen graduated from Washburn Technical Institute as an auto service technician and is entering the workforce as a member of the Pipefitters Union No. 441, of Topeka, Kan.

MdCV Class of 2024 Scholarship Award Winners

  • Haylea Bethell – Garard Family Scholarship, $1,000
  • Olivia Lacey – Barb Kellum Memorial Scholarship, $500; College of the Ozarks Scholarships, $21,800; Fellers & Fouts Memorial Scholarship, $1,000; Governor’s Scholar; Jill Casten-Downing Legacy of Leadership Scholarship, $250; Lawrence Lester McNabb Scholarship, $1,000; MdCV Booster Club Scholarship, $200; MdCV FFA Scholarship, $250; Melvern-MdCV Alumni Association Scholarship, $1,000; National FFA Ford Tough Scholarship, $1,000; Osage County Fire District No. 3 Scholarship, $500; Quenemo Alumni Association, $500; Quenemo Pride Scholarship, $100; Segal Americorp Education Award, $1,374.60; William Lucas Memorial Scholarship, $100; Woodward, Belt, Heilman, Arb American Legion & Ladies Auxiliary Post #317 Scholarship, $500
  • Kelsey Rice – Fellers & Fouts Memorial Scholarship, $1,000; Jones Fund Premier Scholarship, a full ride scholarship to ESU, renewable for up to four years; Larry, Carol and Jessie Thurston Memorial Scholarship, $100; Lawrence Lester McNabb Scholarship, $1,000;  MdCV Booster Club Scholarship $200; Melvern-MdCV Alumni Association Scholarship, $1,000; Quenemo Alumni Association, $500; Quenemo Pride Scholarship, $100.
  • Mason Rose – William Lucas Memorial Scholarship, $100.

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